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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 June 2017
Postman reminds me of Christopher Lasch: he is a cultural critic who has studied the age before machines and science, then the 16th century in which each came to prominence onto the current age, epitomised in Taylor's work studies and the "rise of the machines." Of course in writing about the often dangerous effects of living in a machine dominated age, any critic risks being thought a Luddite and this Postman is keen to avoid. Whether you think, like him, that in some sense technology has disenchanted the world, that we are in some ways cut to fit Technopoly's procrustean bed; or whether you think that all is for the best in this best possible world, you will enjoy his crisp and clear account of machinery and the effects on society that it undoubtedly has had. Unlike him you may find them exciting and redolent of possibility, but just think at what cybernetics and robotics have already taken over and you will get a whiff of merely the most obvious reason why you should read this and have a think. It's a fine book. Trust me, those finding it boring or difficult are obviously poor readers since by no stretch of the imagine is it either. I can imagine others thinking it glib or "just' wrong and I respectfully beg to differ; dull it ain't. He may not have Lasch's heft and Postman is a less than compelling speaker: this is his metier, the book with a thesis.
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on 8 December 1998
Clever and resourceful. It is fascinating the way Postman interweaves different aspect of life, such as printing press, IQ test, language, education, and polling system, into Technopoly. Postman's argument of American culture becoming too technologicaly oriented and loosing the traditions is a legitimate point. However, he ignors the fact that America does not have a tradition. America is trying to stablish a tradiotion. The tradition that America is "loosing" was not American tradition, it came with the pilgrims. As Postman is full of fascinationg information himself, he argues that we don't need any more information, "Technopolist stands firm in believing that what the world needs is yet more information...Information is dangerous when it has no place to go...Information without regulation can be lethal." But, he does not prescribe that, how much information is enough information? And how could we regulate information in a democratic society? The system is set-up for gathering infromation. Students are incouraged to collect infromation. One of the main points of Postman's argument is that the rise of technopoly demolished religious believes and therefore the traditions. Although the topics are repetitious, I found the book easy to read. Postman provokes many questions, such as, are we controlling technology or technology is controlling us? What is the purpose of history? Are we happy about where technology is taking us? Is it too late, or can technology be controlled? What about God?
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on 2 July 1998
I found this book to be one of the best I have read on the subject. Contrary to other reviewers here, I thought it was easy to read. Postman provides both a view on the changes that are occurring in society due to technology, as well as look at the dark side associated with our assumption that technology only works to solve the problem it was created for. Though he does get a little preachy near the end, I think that we would do well to heed his admonition that trusting technology too much leads to loss of liberty, privacy, and humanism.
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on 8 December 1998
Clever and resourceful. It is fascinating the way Postman interweaves different aspect of life, such as printing press, IQ test, language, education, and polling system, into Technopoly. Postman's argument of American culture becoming too technologicaly oriented and loosing the traditions is a legitimate point. However, he ignors the fact that America does not have a tradition. America is trying to stablish a tradiotion. The tradition that America is "loosing" was not American tradition, it came with the pilgrims. As Postman is full of fascinationg information himself, he argues that we don't need any more information, "Technopolist stands firm in believing that what the world needs is yet more information...Information is dangerous when it has no place to go...Information without regulation can be lethal." But, he does not prescribe that, how much information is enough information? And how could we regulate information in a democratic society? The system is set-up for gathering infromation. Students are incouraged to collect infromation. One of the main points of Postman's argument is that the rise of technopoly demolished religious believes and therefore the traditions. Although the topics are repetitious, I found the book easy to read. Postman provokes many questions, such as, are we controlling technology or technology is controlling us? What is the purpose of history? Are we happy about where technology is taking us? Is it too late, or can technology be controlled? What about God?
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on 12 June 1998
Postman has written two hand-wringing books about the impact of technology on culture--this one and his earlier Amusing Ourselves to Death. This book extends his thesis from just television to other media and includes some additional material, such as a chapter on Scientism (criticizing too much faith in science as the answer to every question) and a chapter on The Great Symbol Drain (about the cheapening of our sacred symbols, as for example, using a reference to God to sell Kosher hot dogs). There are a number of good points in the book, but if you will read Amusing Ourselves to Death for the "technology determines culture" argument and David Shenk's Data Smog for the current look at infoglut, you'll have a more interesting and perhaps more informative experience.
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on 20 March 1999
Neil Postman, leaves no stone unturned in his attck on how technology's ideology is undermining our own values and our very way of life. This could be hardly considered an inspirational book, rather it a deep dark trip into how technology manipulates us,using us to become the supreme dictating system in society. This is a wonderfully informative book, supplying a fantastic amount of history from technology's humble beginnings in the form of the early printing press to the lightening fast computers of today. Even though the title "Technopoly" might suggest that this book might be filled with technical jargon, quite to the contrary, it is not concerned with such technical aspects, rather it is a book that would appeal to anyone, who is open-minded and wants to know the effect of rapidly growing technology on our soceity. Postman at first starts out with a more broad outlook at technology, but then devotes whole chapters to the different sciences that technology employs such as in medicine, physics etc so that it elevates its position to being considered in almost god-like porportions. It's interesting how Postamn points out to us has to how we have become so used to technolgy being integrated into our lifes that we don't notice how much we are prompting the aspects of accuracy and efficiency(which is one of the pillars that technology stands on), that we forget our own traditons and culture, out past is engulfed by technology's insatiable hunger. I could ramble on for quite a bit on this book, since there is so much stuff to comment on, to explain to understand. This book would be perfect as a stand alone read as well highly informative for high school or college students. It really does ask the reader to step back from the world of technology we live in today and take a long hard look at the side effects and the failure in morals that technology prompts us to make, and encourages us to look where it is taking us. I gave this book 4 stars becuase it is not something that will keep u awake till th wee hours of night. Not because this book is boring but so intense that after reading a chapter or two you need some time to evalute and reflect what the auhtor has said before proceeding on with the book. I myself was deeply effected by this book. In that we should not just take for granted the immense amount of convenience that we presume technology provides us. Nothing of great importance comes free, there is always some strings attached. On which you can find rich detail and a better understanding of the adverse effects of technology in Postman's book. One thing is for sure after reading the book I don't think I'll ever look at a computer the same way again.
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on 14 December 1998
I also had to read this book for a college class. I find postman to be a true rambler. I rolled my eyes several times and procrastinated considerably during the reading of this book. I still come away from this book thinking well what it wrong with being a technopoly? Perhaps it's our destiny? So be it.
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on 10 December 1998
An inspiring book that had me looking at the way that I live my life, and how dependant I am on technology. Neil Postman stresses that without understanding what it would have been like without the impressions of technology, we cannot fully understand how it is taking us [as people in general] away from our natural cultures. Explaining the possitive points of technology first, he then continues by stressing where and when technocracies took over, and offers some sugjestions on how to solve them. I recomend this for anyone that has ever questioned technology or its hidden motives.
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on 30 May 1999
I do not agree with many things in this book, I never really found a point to it. I will say, it did make me think of things in a different perspective that I might not of ever contimplated. Still it did not change my views of technology. I see no reason to read this other than as a college requirement.
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on 29 November 1998
I'm disappointed with some of the negative reviews I've read about this book. I think this is one of the most important books written this decade. Postman is not the Luddite that many make him out to be. He simply recognizes that American culture is evolving with technological advancement. New technologies do not simply add to our culture. They fundamentaly change it. Some of the changes are good, but we must realize the negative effects as well.
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